Author: Kayla Fantauzzo

A Follower’s Experience with ECT.

This was written by our follower Elaine. She wanted to share her experience with Electro Convulsive Therapy or ECT. Her hope was to shed light on this highly controversial topic.  I’ll start off with a little bit about myself. I’m a 25 year old female. I have been through many different diagnoses since I was in 7th grade. I hear a voice in my head; I used to hear dozens. I’ll admit, the only things I knew of ECT (Electroconvulsion Therapy) were what I’ve seen in the movie One Flew Over the Coo-Coo’s Nest. Just so you know, it’s nothing like that. I was being treated with many different anti-depressants and mood stabilizers. Nothing seemed to be helping me. I was thinking about suicide frequently. I looked up ECT on the Internet and it seemed promising. I asked my doctor if he thinks it would help me. He sent me to a doctor across town to see if I was a good candidate for ECT. After meeting with the nurse, we scheduled my first session. …

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Its core components are emotion regulation, mindfulness, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. It’s part of the 3rd Generation of Behavioral Therapy and was developed by Marcia Linehan and her colleagues. It was originally developed for people with BPD who are chronically suicidal. Studies found that people who participated in DBT were less likely to drop out of treatment, had fewer hospitalizations, and better treatment outcomes overall. It has been adapted for children, adolescents, couples or as a tool for anyone who needs a little help with emotion regulation (including but not limited to substance use disorders, impulse control disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, and other personality disorders.) DBT focuses on a biopsychosocial (bio- biological components; psycho- psychological components; social- sociological components) model of disorders. It uses dialects or opposing points to develop a broader perspective on problems, helps with learning to see the other side of problems (known as the dialectical pole), helps consider more options as a result, and helps a person get “unstuck.” DBT therapists work hard to …

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

​CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It was developed shortly after Behavioral Therapy and emphasizes cognitions (thoughts) over behaviors but combines both in a symbiotic way. It’s not one specific approach but a model that is ever-changing to fit the needs of each person’s disorder. All techniques share a common belief that thoughts (instead of external circumstances) cause feelings and behaviors. CBT is brief and time limited. It recognizes the importance of a strong therapeutic relationship. It is structured and directive. It relies on psychoeducation, Socratic questioning, and the inductive method. It’s not intended to tell people how to think, act, or feel but to help their thoughts, actions, and behaviors become helpful to them and consistent with reality. Homework is an essential part of the process and is used to help people make progress between sessions. There are a large number of different CBT models that can be blended together to fit a person’s needs. All techniques include cognitive restructuring as developed by the founding fathers of Behavioral Therapy (Ellis and Beck.) An example …

BPD PArents

BPD Parenting Types

BPD Parenting Types and Their Affects on Children *Trigger Warning When discussing BPD parents it is important to note that the extreme examples in this article are reflective of individuals who do not recognize their behavior as disruptive. They are unaware of their experience of BPD and how they are passing maladaptive behaviors on to their children. When we step back and look at their behavior as maladaptive patterns and traits we often separate the individual from the disorder. This “stepping back” can look clinical or cruel, but in identifying these patterns of behavior we can see the implicit and explicit effects they have on others. The language used in this article is meant to identity patterns of parenting behavior that lead to disruption in their children’s ability to function as a whole adult. Why Understanding Parenting Types is Important Parenting types are a large part of who we are and who we ultimately become, and the long term effects of any parenting style is important to understand. Children that have a parent(s) who experiences …

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Schemas and Schema Therapy: The Basics

What are Schemas? A schema is a mental concept that informs a person about what to expect from a variety of experiences and situations. Schemas are developed based on information provided by life experiences and are then stored in memory. People use schemes to organize current knowledge, provide a framework for future understanding, and evaluate cause and effect. Schemas often dictate how we interact and predict social situations and interactions. They allow us to develop expectations about other people based on the social role they occupy. We develop expectations about other people’s behavior based on their personality traits and our past experience. We use schemas to develop “scripts” or ways of speaking, behaving, and responding to social interactions. Schema themselves are not bad. They are necessary to create and maintain a stable worldview. Schemas can become negative when they develop under maladaptive or negative situations. Maladaptive Schemas Early Maladaptive Schemas are our negative automatic thoughts or “life traps” we don’t consciously know exist. They are incredibly deeply rooted in us, are broad and complex, and …

mask faces

Ask About BPD: BPD Types

Original Question: I’ve heard there are types of BPD, like low functioning, high functioning, and translucent. And within these types there’s the “acting out BPD” and the “quiet BPD.” Exactly how many types are there and what are they? What are the differences?   It has been said that there are 256 possible combinations of the symptoms that make up BPD. Due to the extreme variance between what causes a person’s BPD (what type of trauma/trauma duration and severity, what kind of environment the person grew up in) it’s hard to know how their experience of BPD will manifest. Individuals with BPD will fit into different subtypes, ways of functioning, schema modes, and coping styles. They may also switch between a myriad of them throughout their lives. No one will ever fall neatly into any category completely. This is partly due to stressors and the environment we’re in and it’s also due to the experience of identity ambivalence in those of us with BPD. Theodore Millon came up with the following subtypes and said that …

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Ask about BPD: Is BPD Real?

Today’s  question: Is BPD real or is it a matter of being too sensitive and living through a lot of stuff? What is BPD? Borderline Personality Disorder is a chronic mental health condition that most noticeably disrupts emotion regulation in the people who have it. The DSM-5 (the most current edition) defines it as: “Typical features of borderline personality disorder are instability of self-image, personal goals, interpersonal relationships, and affects, accompanied by impulsivity, risk taking, and/or hostility. Characteristic difficulties are apparent in identity, self-direction, empathy, and/or intimacy, along with specific maladaptive traits in the domain of Negative Affectivity, and also Antagonism and/or Disinhibition.” A big part of BPD is a fear of abandonment. It might be real or might be perceived. People who have BPD suffer from chronic feelings of emptiness, markedly impoverished self-esteem, unstable relationships (love/hate), suicidal ideations, and usually some type of self harm or substance use. Suicide attempts are incredibly common, though aren’t present in every person who has BPD. Origins Developing BPD is mostly the result of some sort of childhood trauma …